The difference is the U interface is already the 2 wire ISDN convention that can plug into the localloop, the S/T interface is a four wire interface that needs an adapter (a Network termination type1
)The U interface has a built-in NT1 device. If your service provider uses an NT1 device then youneed to buy a router that has an S/N interface.
ISDN Functions and Devices
Terminal Adapter (TA)
--- A converter device that allows non-ISDN devices (TE2 devices suchas a pc, analogue phone or modem) to operate on an 2-wire ISDN network.
Terminal Equipment 1 (TE1)
--- A device that supports ISDN standards and that can beconnected directly to an ISDN network connection. For example, routers with integrated ISDNinterfaces, ISDN telephones, personal computers, or videophones could function as TE1s.
Terminal Equipment 2 (TE2)
--- A non-ISDN device, such as a serial interface on a router or astandard pc, analogue phone or modem which requires a TA in order to connect to an ISDNnetwork.
Network Termination 1 (NT1)
--- A small connection box that is attached to ISDN BRI lines. Thisdevice terminates the connection from the Central Office (CO). Converts BRI signals for use byISDN line. An (NT1) device implements the ISDN Physical Layer specifications and coverts the 4-wire user device to the 2-wire network used by ISDN. (A U reference point)
Network Termination 2 (NT2)
--- A device that provides switching services for the internalnetwork. This type of interface is typically used with PRI lines, when they need to be divided for several functions. For example, some channels may be used for WAN data communications and